Jim and I came to Pittsburg Thursday all set for a weekend of listening to stories at Three Rivers Storytelling Festival. HA!
Life is full of surprises.
Today we are into our own story!
Jim woke me saying calmly that he was going to call 911 to take him to the hospital.
Within seconds I was wide awake, up and starting to dress. "What's the matter?" He explained that he had some questionable cardiac symptoms that he thought should be looked into.
And so it went. We called the hotel operator and asked for an ambulance. She said 15 minutes and it was. Two very efficient
EMTs arrived with a rolling stretcher. Very nice! And very much in charge of what they needed to do. I had gathered my stuff together and was ready to leave when they had him ready to wheel out to the elevator.
At that point I chose to climb up into the front seat and ride with the ambulance, watching carefully the route the young woman driver was taking, knowing that I might have to drive it later. Good move.
At 7:30 am we entered the emergency room at Allegheny General Hospital. They took Jim right into the back to the doctors, and pointed me to the resgistrationa and triage desk. The large waiting room was empty - so they could tend to me right away. Our arrival was fortuitous because business started to pick up.
Jim and I intended to do some sightseeing today. I realized I would be but it would not be a usual tourist view of Pittsburgh. This would be the real life.
A young man and a priest, his uncle, arrived. The young man's mother, in town to help him set up his new apartment, had fallen down twelve steps into his old row house basement,meeting the concrete with her face. She was unconscious.
I left at that point to see Jim who was in the back. Room 2. When I arrived they had alredy wired him to the monitors and he had started telling his story to the first of a string of people; nurses, medical students, residents, the cardiologist.
And I began my usual role - waiting.
Upshot. They admitted Jim. And he will be in the hospital for "observation" until Monday when the stress test folks come back after the week-end. We will not be driving home tomorrow as we planned.
Our daughter Karen will arrive late tonight to keep us company and most importantly to drive home with us on Tuesday.
We are spending the week-end in a sunny eighth floor hospital room that has an expanive view over two bridges of downtown Pittsburgh.
And I am starting new story.
I am counting on a happy ending. I can tell you for sure it will include many kindnesses to strangers by many caring people.